Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm in love...

...with the world's most hyped mobile phone: the Apple iPhone.

What a stunning piece of gadgetry - a visual masterpiece.

As expected, Apple have done a fabulous job building an intuitive and simple to employ user interface, sleekly encased in a very slim cover.

For a very informative (and less biased ;-) personal user review click here.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Review: Pop Art Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

I caught this show first thing on Saturday morning. It's a wonderful time to visit the National Portrait Gallery, as this early in the morning the exhibition space is still empty and you can have the place to yourself, enjoying an unblocked view of the works.

The show examines the role of portraiture within Pop Art bringing together key works by all the major Pop artists - Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein (USA) and Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield (UK)

Using images of the famous and the notorious taken from the media, the Pop Art portraits created a new breed of fantasy portraiture using the influences of popular art and culture.

Comic books, magazines and other modern mediums were the inspiration for the Pop Art Artists to create altered and transformed images of instantly recognisable faces. An obsession with celebrity and the changing influence of fame, the images are often warped versions of a very familar face or versions of the artist themselves put through the media celebrity filtered lens.

A truly inspiring exhibition - full of colour, wit and lateral thinking.

Pop Art Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
11 October 2007 -20 January 2008

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Great throwback commercial from 1990

A classic commercial from 1990 for none other then my car, a P-reg Suzuki Vitara.

Pure classic.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Surrealist Cinema

My friend Sanjay has designed a T-shirt ('Surrealist Cinema') on sale at the Spunky Store in Bristol and online at www.spunky.co.uk.

The design is also featured on a sweatshirt and 'hoody' on the website and publicised in the upcoming FHM Christmas 2007 issue.

Inspired by Donnie Darko, The Simpsons and the work of Frida Kahlo, Surrealist Cinema is a parody on the Gracie Films logo often seen in the credits to The Simpsons.

Buy here for Men

Buy here for Women

Mini-profile here

Please buy and feed his children ;-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Have Bob Dylan send an e-card for you

This has got to be one of the coolest viral marketing tools about. I've used it and my recipients have loved it.

Make your own cards here

See Dylan's original video below.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Droopy tits?

Just back from Paris where amongst other things I visited the Pompidou Centre. There was an intriguing installation by an artist called Annette Messager. It was actual laugh-out-loud stuff - it was very bizarre and triggered spontaneous chuckles from both me and my boyfriend. The concept of 3 droopy plastic breasts trapped inside a net bag, spontaneously, falling to the ground was just one element of the installation, which consisted of various body parts doing the same thing. If you get to Paris, go see. Meanwhile, for a glimpse of it, see the movie below.

Photograph and movie by Chele Conway

Good branding makes money for companies

Here's an article from a marketing blog that shows how good branding can actually make money for a company.

Read it here

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Design your own book cover

A nice idea from Penguin to design your own book cover for one of their Penguin classics.

Examples of other people's designs can be seen here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Marks & Spencer

As a freelancer, when not working from home on my private client projects, I am often contracted to work in the design studios of Advertising or Design agencies, in central London.

Right now, I am doing something completely different, working in-house at Marks & Spencer head office at their new premises in Paddington Basin - working as part of the e-commerce design team. It is a beautiful office environment but I am not used to working within such a corporate environment.

It's altogether another experience but that's what I like about freelancing - the variety of work, and constant change of pace, environment and work.

Above are a couple of my M&S creations since I began working on the site graphics last week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Recent Freelance Jobs

I have just finished an unusually long post working in-house at Clarins UK in Cavendish Place, behind Oxford Circus, working on all their promotional material. I made some nice friends and got some great freebies! Thanks girls.

Next up I'll be working in-house once again, this time at Marks & Spencer, at their new head office in Paddington Basin. I'll be working within the online department, on the M and S e-commerce site. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More Olympic Logo Parodies

Will it ever end?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Wonders of Photoshop

Don't ever believe those beauty magazines...

Unbelievable stuff.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Useful Colour Picker Sites

Colour lovers
Show hundreds of different colour combinations - a great online tool. You can also vote for your favourites and create your own swatches. You will find, in addition, a useful section on colour trends

A colour theory visualiser

Similar to Colour lovers, you'll find many inspirational colour palletes here.

One more.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Continuation of the logo saga...

50, 000 have signed an online petition against the London 2012 Olympics logo, but it has now been closed after its creator realised the design was "here to stay".

Nicknames for the logo by now include 'Gay swastika puzzle' and 'Tiswas disaster'. But the leading name now is 'Lisa Simpson giving head'. Hhhmmm.

Monday, June 4, 2007

London unveils its logo for 2012 Olympics

Does anybody out there like this logo?

My friend, Struggling Author, rightly calls it a "crumpled crisp packet swastika"

This is the icon that is supposed to sum up what London 2012 is all about. The jagged emblem in bold colours, has apparently been designed to define the image of the Games in five years' time.

The logo, based on the date 2012 itself, comes in a series of bright shades of pink, blue, green and orange, and includes the signature five Olympic rings emblazoned onto the "0".

I myself can't stand it.

I've seen the BBC News website has some of the alternative logos... so much better.

Have a look at them - especially no. 11 - just great!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Some of my friends tell me that they've signed up to Facebook . It's a bit of silly fun, they say (although some take it all too seriously). So I've signed up too.

Facebook (for the uninitiated) is like a streamlined, refined take on MySpace . No fluorescent backgrounds and hideous customised cursors, just crisp whites and calming blues. You create a profile for yourself, locate other people you know, and add them as "friends". You can then swap messages, share photos, invite one another to events, and so on. There's also a status window you can easily update, so if your friend Zoe is feeling listless, she types "feeling listless" in and you see a little bulletin saying, "Zoe is feeling listless." For some reason, this is endlessly amusing. My friends were right: it is a bit of silly fun.

From a freelancers' point of view, being part of an online networking site has a business focus too. Now even the politicians are using it in the race to be Labour deputy leader.

What's your take on the phenomenon?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Need inspiration for business card design?

Check out this link for some innovative ideas

Monday, April 23, 2007

Financial Times rebrand

The Financial Times rebrand is a project I worked on recently whilst freelancing at TMW.

The 'World Business In One Place' strapline is illustrated by an image of a fabulous montage of iconic world buildings.

The new-look paper launched today so if you bought it, you'll have noticed the fresh new layout. The changes are fairly subtle ones, designed to enhance the FT's traditional strengths.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

iPod Love

Apple sold its 100 millionth ipod today

The success of the iPod lies partly in British hands - it was designed by Essex-born Jonathan Ive, who has grown to be Apple's head of industrial design.

Among famous iPod users are the Queen, who owns a silver iPod. She was said to be impressed by how small and handy it is.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Freelance UK

An article from this blog has been published on Freelance UK, the leading website for freelance creatives in the UK.

It can be found here.

I'm chuffed!

Monday, March 26, 2007

New website for creatives and marketeers

I'm freelancing at TMW, working on the new Lloyds TSB brand and direct mail campaign. On the way in this morning, just outside the TMW offices, on the King's Road, I was handed a quirky flyer for this website. Good marketing for another useful forum-based site for the creative and marketing industry.

By the way, TMW has an excellently styled Flash website - check it out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

3 Limited Edition Oyster Wallets - they're free!

For all you Londoners out there: personalise your commute with one of these beautifully designer Oyster wallets.

They're free, just click on this link, click on the name of the artist whose work you would like and fill in the form. Platform for Art will then send out the wallet to your address.

Logo Design History + 2007 Logo Design Trends

Thanks to Bex for this fabulous link detailing the stories behind many big name logo designs, from A to Z, including all the icons. This site also has vector EPS's of almost every logo mentioned.

Within the same site, this useful article predicts 11 logo trends for 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Which is the capital city of the world? London or New York?

"A weekend in London is like a world’s greatest hits of city living" ...so says an extract from this intriguing article today in The Times.

The feature puts forward London as being the new capital of the world.

"New York has the nostalgia, London the future. New York defines the metropolitan, London the cosmopolitan."

I couldn't have envisaged reading such sentences 10 - or even 5 - years ago.

Any reactions? Which city has the biggest buzz... Which is the coolest, classiest and most inspiring? Post your opinion below.

NB. The snapshots above comes from this video - an inspiring graphic sequence of London. Wait 2 seconds for it to begin.

Midnight font buying

Checking my emails, after a friend left my place, post dinner at mine, I felt inspired by a font e-newsletter. I've always been attracted to these types of elegant distressed fonts having seen them used in some fashion advertising, music packaging and on one or two book covers, and I decided to buy 'Heathen'

I guess I've got a family wedding invitation commission rattling around in my mind, and I think this typeface could look uber-stylish, but I have a feeling it will not be to the couple's taste at all... !

It's a little edgy but I envisage it looking fabulous with the right production techniques.

It's elegance gone ancient, old thoughts in a modern packaging.

Can't wait to use it for the right project.. I have a feeling it won't be for this wedding invitation though...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Friday, March 2, 2007

Useful tools for designers and creatives

I have set this out in two categories: INSPIRATION and RESOURCES. Feel free to add your own to the list, and tell me of your experiences using any of these sites and tools via the comments section below.


Worlds best advertising is an advertising archive and forum discussing all the best work worldwide. Covers all media: Print, TV, Radio, Online, and Ambient.
Find thousands of logos for study and inspiration at Logo Lounge
An insightful and stimulating read on the logo trends of the year, can be found here
In opposition to today's digital fonts, this site inspires by focussing on the beauty of Antique wood type
The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising is an amazing brand and packaging collection over in Notting Hill, showcasing 200 years of consumerism, all reflected through packaging design, brand development, poster and TV advertising.
The 24 Hour Museum alerts to news, listings and features from 3000+ museums and galleries. A fabulous guide to UK culture.
If all of the above fail, just pick a good selection from wine.com!


Download eps logos for free at brandsoftheworld.com Here you'll find access to all the well known (and not so well known) brand logos in vector EPS formats.
For high resolution textures Texture Space can't be beaten for an enormous selection of 3D textures. A very useful and thorough site.
Fontifier lets you turn scanned samples of handwriting into a digital handwriting font.
If you're trying to name or recognise a font, the font identifier site, Identifont enables you to locate it by answering a series of questions. Incredibly useful if you want to match an existing typeface, or identify a typeface you have seen in a publication.
If you can't find locate a font by answering the questions in Identifont, then What the font? locates it for you by allowing you to scan a sample of it in (if you've seen it in a publication, for instance). Once submitted, it will supply you with the font name – a very useful tool and a real timesaver.
Getty Images is an excellent search facility for an enormous range of photos, illustrations and films covering every type of theme.
iStockphoto is a royalty-free image web site with a good selection of imagery and, more importantly for low-budget projects, they are incredibly cheap to purchase
A good site for adding customisable, royalty-free music to multimedia projects is Partners in Rhyme. Also useful for voiceovers and sound effects.
Photoshop Support does what it says on the tin!
For every style of font, for use on a Mac, with a great search facility, check out Mac Fonts
Once a printed magazine, x-height is where you will find interesting and useful information on and about fonts, type design, designers and technology written by industry experts.
Magma is the best place on the web to find the most inspiring books covering all aspects of art and design.
NB. I will soon be adding a post of inspiring websites of fellow designers and design and advertising agencies eg. Non-format, as recommended by Matt. If you know of any that you'd like to recommend for this forthcoming post, please notify me via the comments section

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Bookniks - tonight at the Royal National Hotel

A recent piece of work above: a business-card sized laminated mini flyer promoting the 'Bookniks' event, part of Jewish Book Week 2007
This event is tonight and should be really entertaining with writers, such as Etgar Keret, comedians like Adam Bloom, and a whole variety of musicians, dancers and authors performing throughout the evening, at this literature-themed event.

Review: Alan Fletcher at the Design Museum

I caught this show just before it ended at the beautifully positioned Design Museum near Tower Bridge. A colourful and very inspiring exhibition for designers and non-designers alike, Alan Fletcher was the man uniquely responsible for defining British graphic design with his witty and individual approach from the late 1950s onwards.

"If, in another fifty years, the Design Museum decides to stage an exhibition of the great graphic designer of the age, what will there be to look at? Perhaps it’s a generational thing but the joy of the Fletcher show for me was in examining physical objects – of being able to see the real thing and not just a facsimile. But with media and, therefore, design becoming increasingly screen-bound, what will the Alan Fletcher of 2056 have to display? Just a whacking great screen? And will there be any point in going to a museum to see it"?

Patrick Burgoyne, Creative Review